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Surgical Nurse Practitioner best route

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1,127 Profile Views; 38 Posts

Just to give a little background information before I go into my question. I am currently working on my ADN to BSN. I graduate in a few months. I am beginning to research and look into Master programs for Nurse Practitioner. I started off in a Peds OR as a new grad. Worked there for a year, went to the PICU for a few months became insane found that it wasn't for me and decided to return to the OR. Surgery has always been a love of mine. I had decided to go to the ICU for one the experience, and for two not to always have the regret of losing my skills by only being an OR nurse. Once I went to the ICU I regretted leaving the OR and missed it so much. So now I have a 1.5 year experience in the OR circulating and scrubbing. Before the OR I was a tech in the pediatric PACU for 4 years loved loved loved it which led me to the OR. So now that I am graduating soon my dream is to become a Surgical Nurse Practitioner. My dream is to be able to see patients pre/intra/post-op and work in a clinic or office. I would like to scrub in with the surgeon. I realize that there are a lot of routes that can be taken to get to this goal but I want to find out the best route from anyone who has any information to give or from current Surgical NPs. I have been looking at the FNP route and would most likely get RNFA certification later. I was thinking FNP route because of the flexibility of being able to work with both adults and peds and to broaden my job options when I graduate. I didn't want to go the ACNP route for the reason of not wanting to strictly work in a hospital. I do love Peds and PNP was my first choice before but I do not want to be limited to job options if I go PNP or PNP/PACNP and not be able to go the surgical route. UC San Diego has a dual FNP/ PNP program that I have been looking into. I do realize UAB has a ACNP/RNFA program but I do not want to specialize in strictly adults I would like to have the peds option. I would choose a Peds NP program before I choose an adult one. Sorry for all the adult lovers nothing against them, just a preference lol. Any input would be helpful. For the Surgical NPs that reply could you tell me your credentials if possible. I just want to gather as much information as possible to help with my decision.

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PG2018 specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

1,413 Posts; 21,829 Profile Views

Physician Assistant. They are qualified for everything you wish to do. You'll probably relate better to surgeons too.

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38 Posts; 1,127 Profile Views

Physician Assistant. They are qualified for everything you wish to do. You'll probably relate better to surgeons too.

Thanks for commenting. I understand that PA is an option but with PA I believe that you can not work at all while in the Programs which I would rather not be an option.

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yhl1975 has 17 years experience.

134 Posts; 5,380 Profile Views

In order to be NP in surgery with DR/DO/ PODIATRIST/dentist and other you just need to know the surgeon and to be NP with med surg./internal medicine experience. In order to be NP in privet office you just need to know people. And may be by chance you will find a surgeon that can train you.

I worked as Av access Clinical Nurse coordinator with vascular surgeon group in Manhattan in 2009-2011.

Several successful surgeons worked with PA's in the office. This particular vascular surgeons could teach PA everything, since PA, can not open private practice and not competing for work.

NP profession is less depended in some states , but still every surgeon understands that nurses usually skilled to educated patient and families, so we do have some privilege in our education. Your could start as educator in the office and then be involved more in OR. Other quick way is to be OR nurse and then it is so close.

For my kids , I will recommend to go to DO school or to podiatry school, if they dream to do surgeries.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

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41 Posts; 1,007 Profile Views

UAB has a acute/primary peds NP dual option as well as the single option for either. This fall they are opening up the RNFA certification to all specialty tracts, not just the Adult NP program. Not sure if this helps.

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Alicia777 specializes in Surgery.

277 Posts; 6,044 Profile Views

I'm a surgical NP. I started off as an OR nurse as well but had some prior floor nurse experience before that.

It IS more difficult to get training as an NP in surgery compared to the training of a PA-but not out of the question.

My state mandates that nurse first assistants have their RNFA certification so you should check on that. I went for my FNP, but had only outpatient clinicals and have therefore had much of my training OTJ.

I love what I do! My surgeons are great teachers and colleagues. I really used my OR RN experience to get my foot in the door and thankfully my first job was good enough to give me a chance. PM me if you like if I can answer anything else!

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Blinnk83 has 9 years experience and specializes in Critical Care/Education.

1 Post; 261 Profile Views

Hi!!! I tried to PM you but I haven't been on here in a while so I didn't realize they disabled that feature. I wanted to actually expand on this topic as I just graduated from an FNP program on Saturday and I have an interview (being flown out to a different state) with a general/vascular surgeon - he's willing to train and I actually spoke to him for an hour on the phone - I have primarily critical care background which I think is why they found my resume. BUT I just wanted to find out what your thoughts are on questions I should be asking and what salary expectations should be. I am very nervous and my interview is in two weeks so I don't want to blindly go into this so green and seem naive. Any advice would be amazing!

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Alicia777 specializes in Surgery.

277 Posts; 6,044 Profile Views

Hi!!! I tried to PM you but I haven't been on here in a while so I didn't realize they disabled that feature. I wanted to actually expand on this topic as I just graduated from an FNP program on Saturday and I have an interview (being flown out to a different state) with a general/vascular surgeon - he's willing to train and I actually spoke to him for an hour on the phone - I have primarily critical care background which I think is why they found my resume. BUT I just wanted to find out what your thoughts are on questions I should be asking and what salary expectations should be. I am very nervous and my interview is in two weeks so I don't want to blindly go into this so green and seem naive. Any advice would be amazing!

I think this is directed at me? First of all congratulations on finishing your program and getting the interview!!

I don't know what state you live in or how much nursing experience you have (which will make a difference in your salary) but I would say generally you should expect $100k-125k to start for a inpatient surgical position.

You should ask what your orientation will be like? Is this position only in the OR or will you be expected to see ED consults, round on patients in the morning etc.. You will need to shadow someone for a while-I did. I would ask if they will be putting you through a formalized RNFA course. I think this would benefit someone like you-without any prior OR experience. Are you the only NP/PA or are there others that can mentor you? What about taking call? Do you have to do that? (Avoid it if you can).

Try not to be too nervous-you are interviewing them too! Good luck and let us know how it turns out[emoji4]

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Alisabeth has 14 years experience as a BSN, MSN, DNP and specializes in FNP, Surgery.

74 Posts; 4,549 Profile Views

I am a surgical NP, an I absolutely love my job. I was an OR nurse, and I agree with Alicia777 it really helps you get your foot in the door. I am family nurse practitioner, because I did not want me to have limits on the patient ages I could see. I am a travel nurse practitioner, and everyone once in awhile I run into hospitals that only want Acute Care NP for a surgical setting. I do not have my RNFA, but I think it is very valuable to have. Would love to hear how your interview turned out, keep use posted!!

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nurselyfe4115 has 5 years experience and specializes in Cardiothoracic Intensive Care.

2 Articles; 25 Posts; 4,823 Profile Views

Physician Assistant. They are qualified for everything you wish to do. You'll probably relate better to surgeons too.

NPs can do whatever PAs can do, so there really would be no reason to go the PA route, unless she wants to completely get out of a nursing foundation...which sometimes people do.

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mommy.19 has 7 years experience as a MSN, RN, APRN.

262 Posts; 8,138 Profile Views

I'm a little late to the game, but figured I would tell my story.

I graduated in 2010 with my BSN, and started working at a hospital outpatient wound center staffed by a group of surgeons/podiatrists, etc. I developed a great relationship with the surgeons (worked there 3 years). Started MSN-CNS program in 2013 and moved jobs to make time for clinicals, but maintained good relationships with the surgeons. I graduated and thought I had several prospects lined up---but they didn't pan out. My favorite surgeon called me up and said they needed another APRN, and wanted to train this person as a First Assist in Surgery. I'm completing the NIFA program now and will start 10/1 orienting in my new role.

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